This recipe for Lovelova, a Persian twist on the traditional Pavlova, comes courtesy of Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake in San Francisco.


For the Meringues

  • 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon saffron

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

  • 4 large egg whites

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Strawberry Rose Salad

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced

  • 2 teaspoons rose water

  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice

  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper

For Serving

  • 2 tablespoons pistachio oil

  • ¼ cup pistachios

  • ½ cup organic rose petals, cut into strips

For the Cardamom Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, or sour cream

  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed


  1. Prepare the meringue: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine vinegar and saffron in a small bowl; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift sugars together; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add sugars; continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in vinegar mixture and cornstarch using a spatula.

  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and gently spoon meringue onto baking sheet into 4 equal portions. Using the back of a spoon, make a well in the center of each meringue. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake 1 hour. Turn off heat and let meringues continue to dry in oven, about 1 hour. Let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If meringues are slightly soft, place in an oven heated to 300 degrees for 30 minutes before using.

  4. Prepare the cardamom cream: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together heavy cream and creme fraiche until soft peaks form. Fold in cardamom and chill until ready to use.

  5. Prepare the strawberry rose salad: Place strawberries, rose water, orange juice, and pepper in a large bowl; toss to combine.

  6. To serve lovelovas, place each meringue on a plate and top with cardamom cream. Spoon rose salad on top of cream or next to meringue. Drizzle plate with pistachio oil and garnish with pistachios and rose petals.

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